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  • Writer's pictureAvaitors Maldives

Malawi’s Vice President Saulos Chilima and Nine Others Perish in Plane Crash

Malawi’s Vice President, Saulos Klaus Chilima, lost his life along with nine other passengers when their aircraft crashed in the dense Chikangawa Forest Reserve.

On June 10, 2024, a Malawi Defence Force Dornier Do228 departed from Lilongwe at 9:17 a.m., carrying Vice-President Saulos Chilima, former First Lady Patricia Shanil Muluzi, and eight other passengers.

Their mission was to attend the funeral of former government minister Ralph Kasambara in the Northern Region, with plans to return to Lilongwe after paying their respects.

Shortly after takeoff, the aircraft vanished from radar, leaving aviation officials unable to establish contact. President Lazarus Chakwera swiftly initiated a search and rescue operation, canceling his own visit to the Bahamas to focus on the crisis. Eyewitnesses reported an aircraft crash in the Chikangawa Forest area, where bad weather conditions prevailed along the intended flight path.

After hours of searching, the wreckage was located in the Chikangawa Forest. President Chakwera confirmed the devastating news: Vice President Chilima and all other occupants had perished. In honor of the victims, June 11 was declared a national day of mourning.

The United States, the United Kingdom, Norway, and Israel offered specialized technologies to aid in the search efforts. Despite their best efforts, hope turned to grief as the nation grappled with the loss of its leaders and fellow citizens.

Malawi mourns the passing of Vice President Saulos Chilima and the other souls aboard that ill-fated flight. Their legacy will forever be etched in the hearts of a grieving nation.



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